3 & 4 yr olds in the same pre-k class? — The Bump
Pre-School

3 & 4 yr olds in the same pre-k class?

So our current preschool is in the process of changing ownership and we just got the tuition for next year and it almost doubled.  In the fall we will have both boys attending so ours is already doubled!  I found another school but it would mean both boys would be in the same class. I don't see the big deal but DH thinks we should keep them separated.  Appreciate any input, thanks!
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Re: 3 & 4 yr olds in the same pre-k class?

  • my girls are in the same class, and even being the same age they still have their own friends....I think it would be fine.
  • At the daycare my boys 2 classes are often combined.  We only have an issue on the playground because they are pretty rough with each other.  
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  • imageBrewtowngrl:
    At the daycare my boys 2 classes are often combined.  We only have an issue on the playground because they are pretty rough with each other.  

    Thanks everyone.  This is my biggest fear b/c DS2 is huge!  They are better w/ others than w/ each other.

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  • At one of the preschools DS1 went to the 3's and 4's were mixed together.  I never even questioned it. 

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  • What was said about Montessori above.  My son attends German Kindergarten and has been since he was just under 3.  His classmates range from 2.5-6 (so they go to school there until they leave for 1st Grade). He loves it.  I was a litTle worried when he first started going because he didn't speak German and I wondered how difficult communication would be with kids from so many ages, but hoped it would be a old thing. It has been fantastic.  The older kids are so helpful and take time to help him out when needed.  He now speaks and understands German...but likes talking with the bigger kids more. 
  • I think multi-age classrooms are a great thing for most kids, and my girls will most likely cycle in and out of them throughout their preschool/elementary school careers. Like PP said, the older kids help and challenge the younger ones, which is a great learning experience for them. The younger kids often pick up some skills more quickly having slightly older peers than they would have with only peers of their age.

    I was an education major and one of my favorite case studies in college was about multi-age classrooms. It was fascinating and I really think it's an awesome concept :)

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  • Mine are in the same class and we haven't had any problems. They are twins though so it is a little different. It is a mixed age class too, which I like.
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  • Our PreK class is 3 and 4 year olds. Honestly I don't love it. It's fine and the kids enjoy being together, but I would love a lot more for my four year old.
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  • DS1 is in a room with 3, 4 and 5 year olds. I see no problem with it.
  • I would shop around for a preschool that had separate classes for 3 and 4 year olds.  I think the needs of 3 year olds and 4 year olds are different enough to warrant two completely separate classes.  I would be less concerned about the two brothers being in the same class.  I know some preschools are set up specifically around the concept of having a wide range of ages together.  If it's a school like this, I'd be fine.  But I'd be wary of a standard preschool program that combines 3s and 4s.

    At my kids' preschool, the 3s curriculum was looser than the 4s, with more time emphasis put on socialization, independence from parents, and free play, and less time spent in structured activity.  The 4s did more complicated projects and activities that were designed to help them practice K readiness skills. For instance, 3s were offered scissors but not actively encouraged to use them.  Projects for 4s, on the other hand, involved a lot of cutting so that children could use scissors comfortably by the time they went to K, but scissors may be frustrating for a lot of 3 y/o kids. 

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  • DS went from a daycare/preschool setting where he was grouped with others his age to a preK where he is with kids much younger, some three. I was hesitant but the class is amazing and all of the kids get the appropriate attention. So I would say it depends on the teachers and how well the class is run. There are a number of siblings in the class and I have never heard of any issues.

  • In the school I work at, the 3's and 4's are in separate rooms. We also try to not put siblings/cousins in the same room. This is more for social reasons than anything else. Preschool is a major time for social growth/socialization skills. When siblings/cousins are in the same room, they tend to gravitate towards each other, and they don't get to form a sense of independence.
  • imagefredalina:
    I think every classroom should be multi age, frankly.

    I've seen a lot of support for mixed age classrooms, but why? Right now we have my DS at a preschool that does 3-4.5 year olds together. The other classroom is 4.5-5s who have late birthdays/were redshirted for kindie. Of DS's two closest friends he's made, one just turned 4 and the other turns four in a few months so I think that's a huge advantage for him to have peer models who are ahead of him developmentally.

    What is the advantage for a kid who is nearly 4.5 being with three year olds though?

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  • Having 3 and 4 year olds in the same preschool classroom is the norm here. My girls will eventually be in the same preschool class for a year, too.
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